On 14/12/2017, I had the opportunity to participate as an Interreg Volunteer at the discussions of the first bilateral council of the ‘Social Forces’ project.
The Regional Development Agency of Rodopi S.A. was the hosting organization of this meeting between Greece and Bulgaria.
The main topic of the event focused on the added value of the social economy for the regional development of both Greece and Bulgaria. Given that social enterprises already exist in this geographical area, the purpose of the presentations was to propose the establishment of new regulations that enhance future taxation method.
As regards the most important initiatives, these include:
the inauguration of five training seminars for one hundred trainees,
the design of a common professional profile for each Social Enterprise (SE) Manager
the development of twenty-fice business plans and guided by
the creation of a web-platform/e-help desk especially created for the SEs
the availability of online courses which cover related fields of Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing, and Exports and improve the social entrepreneurs’ skills.
The latter is going to be better addressed via the collaboration of the two Universities which have already signed the programme, namely the University of Macedonia, and the University of Haskovo.
Priority shall then be given to increasing the awareness of the benefits that the social entrepreneurship sector can offer at the local level.
In this context, the partners agreed on two main points:
a) regional needs are going to be fully studied in order to expand the social entrepreneurship sector
b) citizens’ exposure to the challenges of today’s society should be stabilized in the Southern-Eastern part of the European Union.